Bruxism refers to excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It is a parafunctional activity in the mouth unrelated to normal functioning such as eating or talking. Bruxism is fairly common – up to 30% of people brux at some point in their lives. Symptoms commonly associated with bruxism include hypersensitive teeth, sore jaw muscles, headaches, tooth wear, and damage to dental restorations (e.g., broken crowns and fillings). Bruxism may occur during sleep or during the day. Studies have shown that night bruxism generates greater amounts of force than day bruxism, causing more damage to the jaws, teeth and oral muscles.
Bruxism can cause significant tooth wear when it is severe, and sometimes dental restorations (crowns, fillings etc.) are repeatedly damaged or lost due to the excessive forces placed on them. Dental implants, dental ceramics such as crowns and bridgework are relatively more complex in bruxers.
At River Dental, prevention of tooth wear can be done through the use of an occlusal splint, which is a custom-made guard worn during sleep that provides protection for your teeth from wear and pressure.